NEW DELHI: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently released an interim advisory for use of rapid antibody test for COVID-19 in hotspot areas of the country. Rapid antibody test for the coronavirus can be used to detect if a person’s immune system has Covid-19 or has recovered from it. The test can detect evidence of past or present exposure to the coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Rapid antibody test for COVID-19 diagnostics could be one of the most effective tools in combating the outbreak. Currently, the test methods used for COVID-19 diagnostics takes more than 2-3 days to show the results. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.
The typical diagnostic tests used to diagnose COVID-19 involves testing the samples of mucus and saliva in a lab to see if it contain the coronavirus’ genomic sequence. The result can take 24 to 48 hours to show whether the patient has an active infection or not.
Where as an antibody test, also known as serological tests, look for the presence of a virus through a blood test and can give results in 10-15 minutes. However it is not a confirmatory test. It can be used as a pre-screening test to generate data about how many people got exposed to the virus.
The latest scientific studies shows that the coronavirus is spread by seemingly healthy people who show no clear symptoms. A study by researchers in Singapore became the latest to estimate that somewhere around 10% of new infections may be sparked by people who carry the virus but have not yet suffered its flu-like symptoms.
Hence, it’s important to identify and diagnose all those who have been exposed to the disease and can become potential COVID-19 carrier.